Anti-corruption group kicks against ECOWAS President’s stance on recruitment, threatens legal action

Dr. Omar Alieu-Touray, President of ECOWAS Commission

By Ezekiel Obi, (ABUJA)

The Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC) has kicked against the position of Dr. Omar Alieu-Touray, President of ECOWAS Commission, on subsequent vacancies at the Commission as he takes the mantle of leadership.

The Commission’s President was reported to have said during a town-hall meeting on Friday, 9th September 2022 with staff of the Commission that he would not advertise vacant positions at the Commission across all ECOWAS Member States, but to restrict recruitment of staff to current ECOWAS Commission staff.

In a letter delivered by the Chairman of CSNAC, Olanrewaju Suraju, to the ECOWAS Commission’s President, the group drew the attention of Dr. Touray to Article 18(5) of the ECOWAS Revised Treaty of 1993, which stipulates that “In appointing professional staff for the Community, due regard shall be subject to ensuring the highest standards of efficiency and technical competence, to maintaining equitable geographical distribution of posts and gender balance among nationals of all Member States (pgs. 64-65:1993)”

The Group also maintained that Touray’s decision contravenes Article 9(2b) of the ECOWAS Staff Regulations which stipulates that, “All permanent professional positions declared vacant shall be advertised. Applicants shall be notified of the receipt of application for the positions advertised. The deadline for receipt of applications shall be forty-five (45) calendar days after the date of publication”. Article 9(c) also states that, “The positions shall be filled through a competitive recruitment process in which all shortlisted candidates shall appear before the relevant committee” (pg. 14).

Suraju reminded the new ECOWAS President, that as primary custodian of all ECOWAS regulations, laws and policies, he should not be perceived to be condoning any forms of illegality.

He stressed that ECOWAS has a high sense of duty and responsibility to lead by example in ensuring adherence to the rule of law, good governance and human rights in a sub-region that has consistently experienced democratic reversals and increased human rights abuses.

“Against the foregoing, we would welcome your rescindment of such illegal position of denying qualified community citizens, including the current staff of the ECOWAS Commission, the right to apply and be considered for professional positions at the ECOWAS Commission.

“Failure to do this will compel us to approach the law court, ECOWAS Community Court of Justice, in order to compel the ECOWAS Commission to do what is fair and just to all. Your Commission is unable to give what it does not have in the enthronement of rule of law, good governance and human rights promotion, if unable to adhere to its own rules, policies and laws,” the group affirmed.

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Written by Tom Chiahemen

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